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Project overview

Thesis title: Children's exposure to food and beverage marketing in public places

PhD Student: Michelle Barr

Supervisors: Associate Professor Louise Signal, Dr Moira Smith

Advisors: Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Dr James Stanley

Funding: This research is conducted as part of the Health Research Council funded Kids'Cam project. Michelle is supported by a Health Research Council PhD Scholarship.

More information: Email


Background: The ubiquitous marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor (EDNP) foods and sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) is a key modifiable influence on childhood dietary patterns and obesity. Regulation to restrict the marketing of EDNP foods and beverages to children has been identified as a cost-effective population-based approach to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable disease associated with childhood obesity. However, little is known about children's exposure to food and beverage marketing other than via television, and there is no quantifiable evidence of the extent of children's exposure to the full range of marketing media in public places.

Aim: To investigate the frequency and nature of children's exposure to food and beverage marketing in public places, documenting differences by ethnicity and NZiDep.

Methods: Approximately 200 Children (aged 12 years) from across the Wellington region wore an automated camera and a GPS device for four days to collect images of their everyday surroundings. The image data was analysed using content analysis to identify the marketed food and beverage brands and products to which the children were exposed. The GPS was used to identify the location of those features. The nutritional value of the identified food and beverage products or brands was assessed and categorized as healthy or unhealthy using the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Nutrient Profiling Scoring Calculator and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Nutrient Profiling Model.

Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 6040
Fax +64 4 389 5319

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